Category Archives: Equal Justice

No Protests For These Two Little Boys????

.jpg photo of man charged in toddler's death
Francois Browne, 35, served 2 years and 11 months for murdering his 7-month-old Son. HOW IS THIS JUSTICE????

For the second time, Baltimore man is
charged in the death of a Child

BALTIMORE, MD  –  The two baby boys died five years apart, both of them bruised and beaten.

Seven-month-old Kendall Brown suffered fractured ribs and bleeding in his brain in December 2012.  Then 18-month-old Zaray Gray died with a broken clavicle and internal injuries last week.

The father of the first child, a Baltimore man who spent almost three years in prison for his son’s death, has been charged in the death of the second child, his girlfriend’s son.

Francois Browne, 35, of Woodbourne Heights, was charged Saturday with murder in the death of Zaray Gray.  Browne remains held without bail.

Online court records did not list an attorney for him.

The second case against Browne has focused attention to the prison sentence he received after his son’s death.  After Browne was convicted of child abuse resulting in death, Baltimore Circuit Judge Timothy J. Doory sentenced him to 15 years in prison with all but four years suspended.

Browne served two years and 11 months in prison.

“This guy should still be in jail,” said Dr. Dylan Stewart, director of pediatric trauma at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  “The penalties are far too lenient.”

Recent years have brought an uptick in the number of children killed in Baltimore by a parent or guardian.  While there were two such deaths reported in 2007, there were at least eight in 2016, according to the latest report by the Baltimore City Child Fatality Review Team.  More than 40 children have been killed by a guardian in the last decade, according to the city health department.

“I have a huge amount of concern for the level of child abuse in Baltimore,” Stewart said.  “Murdering a child should not have a different penalty than pulling the trigger and murdering an adult.”

One youth advocate said the case could spur efforts to tighten a new law aimed at alerting social services agencies if someone becomes a parent after being convicted of killing a child.

The new law, which takes effect Oct. 1, requires courts to notify the state health department when someone is convicted of the murder, attempted murder or manslaughter of a child.  Later, if a birth certificate lists that person as being the parent of a newborn, the local social services department is to be notified so officials can provide an assessment of the family and offer services if needed.

Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, executive director of the nonprofit group Advocates for Children and Youth, said the law is aimed at protecting children whose parents have killed or seriously harmed a child in the past.

But a limitation, she said, is that it applies only to people convicted of three crimes: murder, attempted murder and manslaughter.  That means it wouldn’t kick in for someone convicted of child abuse, even in a case that resulted in death.

Another limitation is that the law would alert authorities only if the convicted person became a parent, not if someone simply was a caretaker of a child.  The law matches court records with birth records.

Bevan-Dangel said the law might need to be broadened to cover more scenarios. “Potentially there is more work to be done on this statute to make sure it’s is casting the right-size safety net,” she said.

Meanwhile, the deepening opioid epidemic has heightened concerns about child abuse in Baltimore.  In March, Anne Kirsch, 37, was sentenced to 30 years in prison after police found her infant son beaten, starved and dead at 9 days old.  She admitted to using heroin during her pregnancy and on the night before her son died.

Browne’s son was hospitalized on New Year’s Eve 2012 with bleeding in his brain. Doctors pronounced the baby brain dead three days later.  Browne had been alone with his son the night the boy was hospitalized, police wrote in charging documents. Browne was convicted of child abuse resulting in death.

He was released from prison in December 2015, officials said.  He also received five years of probation.

On Wednesday night, police found 1½-year-old Zaray Gray injured in a home in the West Forest Park neighborhood of Northwest Baltimore.  Browne had taken the boy and two other children to the playground earlier that day, police wrote in charging documents.

Once home, they wrote, Zaray began throwing up.  Officers wrote that Browne told them he was alone with the boy in the home while the other children played outside. He heard the boy moaning and later that night the child stopped breathing, officers wrote.

Doctors found bruises on the boy’s face, chin, neck and mouth.  The boy’s left clavicle was broken, police said.

Browne told police the boy had fallen while going down a sliding board, bumping his head and back.

Doctors also found tears to his bowels, police wrote, “likely caused by multiple blows to the abdomen.”

Washington Must Stop CPS Collateral Damage

.jpg photo of CPS worker charged with falsifying documents
Richelle Schultz, 53, pleaded guilty Tuesday to two felony counts of falsifying information

Jefferson County caseworker admits falsifying Child Abuse records

DENVER, CO  –  A former Jefferson County Human Services caseworker fabricated records in a dozen child abuse and neglect cases claiming she investigated the cases when she had not, authorities say.

Richelle Schultz, 53, pleaded guilty Tuesday to two felony counts of falsifying information in child abuse and neglect documents and attempting to influence a public office, according to a news release by Pam Russell, spokeswoman for District Attorney Peter Weir.

Schultz was a caseworker between December 2015 and July 31 of 2016 who investigated allegations of child abuse and neglect.  Human Services fired Schultz in July of 2016 and began reviewing her cases.

Schultz entered false information in 12 cases, claiming she interviewed victims, families and witnesses in person or on the phone when she did not, the news release says.

The review determined that there were no unresolved safety issues and the cases had been closed.

Schultz faces up to 9 years in prison when she is sentenced on March 5.

Judges Are Children’s Worst Enemy

.jpg photo of Child Predator Doctor
Larry Nassar, 53

Former USA Gymnastics doctor pleads guilty to Child Pornography charges

“I sacrificed my childhood to compete for the United States throughout the world,” Antolin said.  “The doctor they assigned to treat me betrayed my trust.  Now the federal government is giving him a free pass for his alleged assaults on me and many other child athletes.  That’s not justice.”
Jeanette Antolin

Larry Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics physician accused of sexually assaulting dozens of women and girls, pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal child pornography charges.

Nassar, 53, pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography, possessing child pornography and to a charge that he hid and destroyed evidence in the case.  The guilty plea was part of an agreement with the western Michigan US Attorney’s Office and was formally entered in federal court in Grand Rapids.

“Victims and the public can be assured that a day of reckoning is indeed in Dr. Nassar’s future,” Acting US Attorney Andrew Birge said in a statement.  “No one, no matter his station in life, is above the law.  Those who exploit children will be found out and they will be held accountable.”

Nassar’s attorneys, Matthew Newburg and Shannon Smith, declined to comment on the guilty plea, but issued a brief statement about the state charges he also faces.

USA Gymnastics agrees to dozens of changes amid sex abuse scandal

“Dr. Nassar’s position on the state cases has not changed and we intend to proceed to trial.  The plea today was negotiated only to resolve the federal charges,” their joint statement reads.

In total, Nassar faces 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and 11 counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct at the state level, according to Megan Hawthorne, deputy press secretary for state Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Nassar has pleaded not guilty to all of the state charges, Hawthorne said.  Several of the first degree charges pertain to victims under 13, and all of the state-level charges involve former family friends, gymnasts, and/or patients of Nassar, she said.

Nassar, the father of three school-aged children, was the team physician for the Michigan State University gymnastics and women’s crew teams, as well as an associate professor at MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.  He worked at MSU from 1997 to 2016, and served as the USA Gymnastics physician through four Olympic Games.

Prosecutors alleged that between September and December 2004, Nassar knowingly downloaded images and videos of child pornography from the Internet and that between 2003 and 2016, he knowingly kept thousands of child pornography images and videos on his hard drive.  Some of the images Nassar allegedly possessed included those of a minor under 12 years old, court documents state.

Furthermore, court documents allege that in September 2016, when he was aware that he was under investigation, Nassar paid $49 to have his laptop completely wiped of the pornographic images and videos and threw away several hard drives containing child pornography.

Nassar faces a combined maximum of 60 years of imprisonment. Nassar must also register as a sex offender and pay restitution to all of the victims of his sexual exploitation, the amounts of which will be determined at a later sentencing date, according to the terms of the plea deal.

In return, the US Attorney has agreed to dismiss Nassar’s original indictment and not prosecute Nassar for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation of children, relating to alleged conduct with two minors in Nassar’s swimming pool in the summer of 2015 and for “illicit sexual conduct” with two other minor children during interstate and international travel, according to the plea agreement obtained by CNN.

Jeanette Antolin, a member of the US National Gymnastics Team from 1995-2000 who alleges that Nassar molested her when she was competing in Canada, Switzerland, and China, denounced the plea agreement.

“I sacrificed my childhood to compete for the United States throughout the world,” Antolin said.  “The doctor they assigned to treat me betrayed my trust.  Now the federal government is giving him a free pass for his alleged assaults on me and many other child athletes.  That’s not justice.”

These federal charges are separate from the sexual assault charges that Nassar faces at the state level.

The state charges, filed in two Michigan counties, stem from allegations that Nassar sexually abused young female athletes under the guise of providing medical care in his home and other settings, including the Michigan State University sports medicine clinic and Twistars Gymnastics Club.

In February, MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon stated that the university is “fully cooperating with every aspect of the ongoing criminal investigations and have urged all members of the MSU community to do so as well.”

The following month, Twistars Gymnastics Club issued a statement saying they “had zero knowledge of any of the allegations against Dr. Nassar, who was never an employee of Twistars.  Our hearts go out to the women who have spoken up and, like everyone else, we are sickened to the core by their stories.”

In April, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) revoked Nassar’s medical license for a minimum of three years, said Jason Moon, communications director for LARA. Nassar must also pay a $100,000 fine if he chooses to file an application to reinstate his license.  Reinstatement would require approval from the Michigan Board of Medicine, Moon said. 

Oregon CPS Worker Accused Of Falsifying Reports

.jpg photo of CPS worker accused of falsifying reports
Miguel A. Fuentes III, 34

DHS worker arrested on allegations of
falsifying Child Abuse reports

Oregon  –  A state employee has been arrested on allegations of falsifying child abuse reports, deputies said Thursday.

Miguel A. Fuentes III, who works in Child Protective Services for the Oregon Department of Human Services, turned in reports showing contacts and interviews that didn’t happen, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

“Other reports contained false statements and work that was allegedly completed” during days he was off work, deputies said.

Detectives began reviewing cases assigned to Fuentes after a sheriff’s office detective and DHS employee working on a child abuse investigation found inconsistencies in reports he finished. Detectives found falsified information in at least 15 of his cases, deputies said.

They said Fuentes, 34, is facing 15 counts of tampering with public records and first-degree official misconduct.

His employer put him on administrative leave when it got wind of the investigation in November 2016 and has since given cases he was involved in to other workers, according to the sheriff’s office.  A DHS spokeswoman said he remains on administrative leave.

Fuentes most recently worked in Beaverton and has been a DHS social services specialist since August 2011, deputies said.

Fuentes is being held in the Washington County Jail.

Report Filed On Weiner In NY

.jpg photo of suspected child abuser
Anthony Weiner, 51, and Huma Abedin, 40

Suspected Child Abuse Complaint Filed in Anthony Weiner ‘Sexting’ Scandal

New York  –  Because former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) reportedly “sexted” a picture of his crotch while his four-year-old son was sleeping next to him, the president of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue, has filed a Report of Suspected Child Abuse or Maltreatment with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

“As president of the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization, I am well aware of the plague of child sexual abuse that marks virtually every sector of society, including, regrettably, the Catholic Church,” said Donohue in an Aug. 31 press release.  “I am writing to express my concerns about the emotional and physical well being of Jordan Weiner, son of Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin.”

“The New York City Administration for Children’s Services defines child sexual abuse to include ‘incest, rape, obscene sexual performance, fondling a child’s genitals, intercourse, sodomy, and any other contact such as exposing a child to sexual activity, or commercial sexual exploitation such as prostitution of a minor or production of pornographic materials involving a minor,'” reads the press release.

“On August 29,” he continued, “we learned that Mr. Weiner took crotch shots of himself sporting an erection with his son lying next to him in bed.  That was disturbing enough, but now we know that he used his child as a ‘chick magnet’ to allure sexual relationships.”

In conclusion, the release states, “It would appear that Mr. Weiner’s sexual exploitation of his child meets the definition of child sexual abuse as defined by the Administration for Children’s Services. Please investigate this matter.”

In the complaint, Jordan Weiner, age 4, is named as the child in the household of Anthony Weiner, 51, and Huma Abedin, 40.  “Sexual Abuse” is marked for the Basis of Suspicions.  The document was signed by William Donohue on Aug. 31, 2016.

Anthony Weiner served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from January 1999 to June 21, 2011.  His wife, Huma Abedin, is a long-time senior adviser to Hillary Clinton.  After this latest sexting scandal surfaced, Abedin announced that she was separating from her husband.